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Ex-Im Bank: Supporting American Jobs, Protecting American Taxpayers

With the U.S. economy on the move — and with worldwide demand for quality, innovative goods on the rise — there have never been greater opportunities for American small businesses to prosper on the global stage and add good-paying jobs here at home.

With the U.S. economy on the move -- and with worldwide demand for quality, innovative goods on the rise -- there have never been greater opportunities for American small businesses to prosper on the global stage and add good-paying jobs here at home.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States, or "Ex-Im," is a small agency that exists to equip U.S. businesses with the financing tools they need to overcome obstacles and open new markets for their goods and services. We know that when entrepreneurs are empowered to win export sales against their foreign competitors, businesses grow, our economy becomes more durable, and layoffs are replaced with 'Now Hiring' signs in communities across our country.

Our 2014 Annual Report, available here, details some of the work we did this year -- which happened to mark our 80th anniversary -- to support U.S. job growth and promote American economic leadership abroad.

In the pages of the report, you'll see some numbers we're proud of from this past year, including:

  • Supported 164,000 American jobs
  • About 90% of transactions directly supported U.S. small businesses
  • Supported $27.5 billion in exports at no cost to American taxpayers
  • Supported $10.7 billion in exports from U.S. small businesses
  • A historically low default rate of 0.175% as of the end of FY14
  • A record high of $2 billion in financing to support U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa

But beyond the numbers, you'll also find something we're equally proud of: stories of our customers, innovative entrepreneurs who serve as living testaments to the positive impact that exports can have on American job growth. Of course, they're only a few of the thousands of customers who have made use of Ex-Im's tools to reach new markets, beat the global competition, and hire more Americans as a result.

Those customers include:

  • Fritz-Pak (Mesquite, Texas): Fritz-Pak is a family-owned small business that manufactures 30 made-in-America specialty products for the global construction industry, including concrete additives and plasters for swimming pools. When the recession hit the construction sector in 2008, they were forced to lay off three employees -- that's when they began looking abroad for overseas sales that could replace their lost domestic sales. Equipping themselves with Ex-Im's export credit insurance, the company's owners, the Ojeda family, were able to offer their new foreign buyers credit terms while protecting Fritz-Pak against the risk of not being paid. Today, exports account for 35 percent of Fritz-Pak's total sales -- and the Ojedas have been able to rehire those laid off employees.
  • SynTouch (Los Angeles, California): Founded in 2008, SynTouch develops and manufactures the only technology in the world that replicates the human sense of touch. Because the costs of manufacturing each advanced fingertip sized sensor can run into the thousands, SynTouch can’t afford buyer nonpayment -- particularly when buyers are located thousands of miles away in global markets. That’s why the company purchased Ex-Im's express insurance, which protects against losses due to commercial and political risks, covering 95 percent of invoice sales to customers overseas. Today, SynTouch has 25 international customers in 14 countries.
  • W.S. Darley & Company (Itasca, Illinois, and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin): In 1926, a conversation with Henry Ford prompted Chicago businessman William Stuart Darley to transform his business from an equipment manufacturer to a producer of fire trucks. W.S. Darley & Co. still manufactures and distributes fire trucks and pumps -- the founder’s grandsons lead the business these days, fulfilling orders for municipal fire departments, federal government customers, and, increasingly, buyers overseas. One of those buyers is the state of Lagos, Nigeria. When the governor of Lagos declared the state of the region’s firefighting capacity an urgent matter of state security, a city of millions turned to a town of fewer than 9,000 -- Itasca, Illinois -- to upgrade its fleet of fire trucks. When private financing proved to be unavailable, Darley turned to Ex-Im, which authorized a $15.7 million direct loan to the government of Lagos to underwrite the purchase of 32 state-of-the-art Darley firefighting vehicles. The trucks were built at Darley’s manufacturing center in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where they’re supporting 100 U.S. jobs.
  • Decas Cranberry Products (Carver, Massachusetts): In 1934, a trio of Greek brothers immigrated to Massachusetts and began producing one of the world’s most iconic American products: cranberries. Now into its eighth decade, Decas Cranberry Products is still a family-owned business, producing over 30 million pounds of cranberry products annually. Decas came to Ex-Im Bank because they knew that achieving the next 80 years of success would require reaching more customers in global markets.  Utilizing Ex-Im Bank insurance to protect against the risk of buyer nonpayment, Decas now confidently sells to customers in over 35 countries -- growth that has enabled them to hire 25 more workers in Massachusetts.

These are just a few of the many export success stories Ex-Im makes possible for our small business customers across the United States -- and we look forward to supporting even more great American companies in 2015 and beyond.

For more information, you can visit us at, or find the full report here.